Oma’s Pages #36
Since nobody was doing anything about us getting a new apartment, I prayed and prayed that Opa and I could find one ourselves. Getting into an apartment here is very very different than it is in America or anyway in Utah. It is extremely complicated. In every spare minute we had we were looking for places to live. I had always dreamed of living in a little old Dutch house that dated back to forever ago. So we looked at the old, the new, and the in between.
Opa and I had to take turns working in the kitchen we had because it was so small, so we really needed a new place to live. If I baked something in the oven I had to put whatever it was on the floor in the living room when I took it out of the oven because there was no place else to set it.
We also did not know for sure where to live. The people in Leeuwarden wanted us to live there and the people in Groningen wanted us to live there. I thought I wanted to live in Leeuwarden because the houses there were cheaper. The Mission President told us that we had to live in Groningen. He thought that would be safer since the JoVo Centrum was in Groningen and we got home much later from JoVo’s than we did from visiting members in Leeuwarden.
At last we found a place. It was perfect. It was new and it was in an apartment house or a flat as they call it here. The first time we went to this place the model home was open so we just walked in and made ourselves at home. We went there several times. I wanted to just climb into the bed that they had in the model and stay there. Robert contacted all the people involved to get a contract, but nothing worked. At last they told us that they would not rent to a corporation. The Church has to rent the apartment so that when we go home somebody else can live there.
I was crushed. I cried. It was probably the lowest point of my mission so far. I told Heavenly Father that we wanted to do our work but that everything was so hard.... We were so cold.... we had to walk so far..... we had to park so far away..... we had to do all the computer work at the Church in the middle of the night when nobody was doing Family History....... I was so tired and so discouraged. I just wanted a nice warm bed and some time to sleep in it.
After I had a great big pity party.... I sat and thought and thought about everything and suddenly it hit me. I thought about other times in my life when I prayed for something that I really needed and it did not come out the way I thought it should. And so I said a prayer and talked to my Heavenly Father and said, “Okay, Heavenly Father, We have done everything we know how to do. It has been my experience in the past that when things don’t go the way we want them to go it means that you have something better in mind. We have run out of options here, so could you please tell us what to do or where to look. Or can you just take care of this problem so that we spend our energies on missionary work instead of all this piddly house finding stuff.
And boom.... a few days later Thies deJonge called us and told us about an apartment building that was not selling fast enough so they had decided to rent some of the units. We went right over to see it and it was the best most marvelous place we had seen since coming to Holland!
I stood in the bare empty unfinished living room, opened the window, and looked across the canal to the City of Groningen and felt like I had a home.